Gaudy by Nature

Happy Wear Something Gaudy Day!

Maybe you weren’t aware that October 17th is Wear Something Gaudy Day, but it is. Teh interwebs say so.

I celebrated the day by tapping into my inner Liberace and donning a metallic copper floral skirt, sequined top, and Rainbow-Brite-inspired shoes. Not to mention sparkly earrings, necklaces, bracelets, and rings. Oh yeah, and a Ring Pop!

Gasp! How FABULOUS!  (Photo by Julie Murrell.)

Gasp! How FABULOUS! (Photo by Julie Murrell.)

So what’s your favorite fashion item that verges on gaudiness? Or maybe one that blatantly crosses the line and is all out AWESOME?

What I wore:
Top: Nordstrom Rack
Skirt: Songs by the Fire Skirt, Bettie Page via ModCloth
Shoes: Rainbow Road Wedge, Poetic License via ModCloth
Belt: Calderon, thrifted

[Photo by Julie Murrell.]

Summer Warmth

Summer in San Francisco: I still (usually) need to wear cardigans, but I try to mix in elements that remind me of the sultry summers I grew up with.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Like warm peach and yellow, the color of northeastern summer sunsets. And one of my favorite pair of earrings, in the shape of cicadas, that bring to mind the sounds of summer nights.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Mix in some gold and caramel accents, add a white skirt with florals and sequins . . .

Gold jewelry and nails. Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Gold jewelry and nails. Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

. . . and I’m the very image of summer!

Catching my shadow

Catching my shadow :)

What does summer mean for you?

Skirt: White House Black Market (thrifted)
Top: Now or Nectar Top, C. Luce via ModCloth
Belt: Gap
Earrings: Magicicada Earrings, Erica Weiner via ModCloth
Bracelets: Sparkle an Idea Bracelet via ModCloth and Victorian mourning bracelet
Cardigan: Somewhere to Bow Cardigan via ModCloth
Shoes: Adventure Capitol Heel, J Shoes via ModCloth
Purse: Basketwork Bag, Industry via ModCloth

Manicure: Pams & Kin holographic glitter (“THIS Year”) ombré over Julep Nail Parlor shimmer polish (“Nessa” layered over “Ashley”).

[Shadow photo by me. All other photos by Pat Zimmerman, as noted.]

Swanky and Swingin’ at the Art Deco Preservation Ball

Once a year, the Art Deco Society of California puts on a fabulous deco-era ball. Pat and I went last year and had a fantastic time, so we just had to go again!

Everyone dresses up in deco-era-style formal attire from the 1920s through early 1940s. Getting dressed for it last year was super easy because I already had a vintage gown from the late 1930s/early 1940s (pictured here), but this year I had to figure out what to wear. I started thinking about it early and created a Pinterest board for deco-era formal wear several months ago. Then I stayed on the look-out for a formal gown that would fit the theme – and finally found a gorgeous Mikael Aghal chartreuse silk gown at The Outnet. The bias cut and waterfall pleats at the waist were reminiscent of 1930s gowns, while the beading and embellishments evoked the 1920s.

Arriving at the Art Deco Preservation Ball in a Mikael Aghal gown and vintage stole. Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Arriving at the Art Deco Preservation Ball in a Mikael Aghal gown and vintage stole. Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

But before we headed to the ball, Pat and I had dinner at Albona Ristorante Istriano, an absolutely delicious Istrian restaurant in North Beach.

Pat looking dapper in a tux at Albona Ristorante Istriano.

Pat looking dapper in a tux at Albona Ristorante Istriano.

In pin curls at Albona Ristorante Istriano. Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

In pin curls at Albona Ristorante Istriano. Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

And then we headed to the ball, held at Bimbo’s 365 Club – a North Beach nightclub founded in the 1930s. In addition to having a marvelous time dancing, enjoying the live entertainment, and sipping classic cocktails, we ran into Susan & Eric Koger from ModCloth. Events are always more fun when you get to share them with awesome people!

Clockwise from top left: with the lovely Susan Koger (photo by Pat Zimmerman); Eric and Pat share a laugh; the Deco Belles; the crowd at Bimbo's 365 Club.

Clockwise from top left: with Susan (photo by Pat Zimmerman); Eric and Pat share a laugh; the Deco Belles; the crowd at Bimbo’s 365 Club.

With Pat in the lobby of Bimbo's 365 Club. Photo by one of the lovely ball attendees.

With Pat in the lobby of Bimbo’s 365 Club. Photo by one of the lovely ball attendees.

Clockwise from top left: Susan with other glamorous ladies in orange gowns - a photo-op to commemorate the Golden Gate Bridge; Pat looking... debonair? mischievous?; Vienna La Rouge performing burlesque; a bouquet of orchids.

Clockwise from top left: Susan with other glamorous ladies in orange gowns – a photo-op to commemorate the Golden Gate Bridge; Pat looking… debonair? mischievous?; Vienna La Rouge performing burlesque; a bouquet of orchids.

If you’re in the Bay Area and love the deco era, definitely check out the Art Deco Society! They put on a few events throughout the year, including a Gatsby-themed picnic in September (I went last year and plan to go again this year). And they also host walking tours of art deco buildings and publish information about related events put on by other organizations.

What I wore:
Dress: Mikael Aghal Embellished silk-satin gown via The Outnet
Stole: vintage 1950s silver mink stole via Eons Fashion Antique in Pittsburgh, PA
Bracelet: Victorian mourning bracelet
Ring: family heirloom
Wristlet: brass mesh bag from the late 1910s/early 1920s (my great grandmother’s; when she gave it to me she said it was just the perfect size for lipstick and telephone money – all one needed for going out!)

[Photos by me except where otherwise noted.]

Additional photos – and full-sized versions of the collage photos – available on Flickr, here. More will be uploaded in the next few days!

Spring Color Inspiration: Aubergine and Lime

One of my fave Spring/Summer 2012 lines was Dolce & Gabbana’s, with its culinary vegetable inspired prints. This dress in particular caught my eye: a full-skirted dress featuring a bold eggplant print.

Dolce & Gabbana Eggplant-print Dress, S/S RTW 2012. Photo from New York Magazine.

Dolce & Gabbana Eggplant-print Dress, S/S RTW 2012. Photo from New York Magazine.

At almost $4,000, this dress is just a *tiny* bit out of my price range. But I used the color combo as inspiration in putting together this outfit: a purple dress with a lime green cardigan.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

The dress is one I got awhile ago from ModCloth but never wore because it was super low cut and too big in the top & waist. But I’ve always loved the full skirt, so I ran it through my sewing machine to take it in & make it more wearable.

I bought the sweater from Express ages ago, and love wearing it when I feel like being a little flamboyant. It’s got shimmery sequins and seed beads, plus fabulous rhinestone buttons.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Oh, and the nails: I subscribed to Julep Maven in February and I’ve been having fun playing with nail polish again! This was a shimmery dark blue (“Marisa”) with a coat of gold glitter (“Oscar”) on top. I didn’t get a good shot up close, but it had a cool effect when viewed from afar.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

So, where are you getting your outfit inspiration this spring?

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Dress: T.A.G. via ModCloth
Cardigan: Express
Shoes: A Knight to Remember Heel in Silver, BC Shoes via ModCloth

Urban Rooftop

I love living in the city. In addition to the easy access to great cultural activities and fantastic restaurants, as well as being surrounded by lots of people, I love the urban landscape. And I’m lucky enough to have an apartment with good views — especially from the roof.

Turns out the roof is a pretty good place to take outfit photos. :)

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

The skirt is a BCBGMAXAZRIA Power Skirt, which I first wore (and posted an outfit post for) in February. I really liked it, but the problem was that I didn’t have the right kind of shirts for it (except for the one featured in that earlier outfit post – and I try to mix up my outfits at least a little!). All my other skirts are a-line or full, so I tend to wear them with more form-fitting shirts and sweaters. But wearing a form-fitting top with a form-fitting skirt was a little too much for me.

I set out to find the right kind of top for this skirt, and finally found the perfect blouse at Nordstrom Rack. I love the rich cobalt blue color, the decorative buttons, and rolled tab sleeves. (The button details continue to the back, with functional buttons, but I forgot to take photos! So I’ll have to do that next time I wear this shirt.) Also, the sheerness of the blouse help keeps it light and fun.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

I accessorized with a silver statement necklace from ModCloth and my favorite silver cuff (a gift from my husband).

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Do you have other ideas or tips for how to wear body-con skirts?

Shirt: Daniel Rainn via Nordstrom Rack
Skirt: BCBGMAXAZRIA Scarlett Power Skirt in Black Combo
Necklace: ModCloth
Bracelet: gifted
Shoes: Marc by Marc Jacobs

To Alcatraz!!

When my friend Lisa visited, I took Monday off and we headed out with Pat (my husband) to Alcatraz. Pat’s from the Bay area, and we’d been coming back to visit his family for years before we moved here — but somehow we never made it out to that prison island. We were like those New Yorkers who never visit the Statue of Liberty. Sometimes you need a friend to visit in order to get around to the touristy stuff!

The day started pretty miserably — chilly and rainy — but around here, you never know what the weather will bring. So like a good San Franciscan, I dressed in layers: a trenchcoat, sweater (not just any old sweater though – a sparkly one!), and cami underneath, with a scarf that could double as a shawl. And I even wore jeans — a rare occurrence!

En route to Alcatraz. Photo by Pat

En route to Alcatraz. Photo by Pat

Oh yes, and I accessorized with bangles – I really love the red and pink combo. I knew we’d be walking around all day, but I also knew we’d be taking tons of photos. It is possible to be comfortable and still look good!

Bangles and sparkles. Photo by Pat

Bangles and sparkles. Photo by Pat

And guess what? By the time we reached Alcatraz, the sun had come out. That’s San Francisco weather!

Alcatraz - view from the ferry.

Alcatraz - view from the ferry.

Alcatraz has awesome views, both inside and out. I spent a lot of time just taking photos:

Alcatraz - storage door. And boy.

Alcatraz - storage door. And boy.

Alcatraz cell.

Alcatraz cell.

I briefly ended up behind bars . . .

Behind bars. Photo by Pat.

Behind bars. Photo by Pat.

. . . and even donned prison duds:

Prison chic? Modeling Alcatraz prison wear replicas. Photo by Pat.

Prison chic? Modeling Alcatraz prison wear replicas. Photo by Pat.

. . . but finally managed to escape outside with Lisa!

With Lisa at Alcatraz. Photo by Pat.

With Lisa at Alcatraz. Photo by Pat.

By the time we were ready to head home, rain clouds had started to gather again.

View from Alcatraz.

View from Alcatraz.

Luckily, we made it to the ferry just as the rain hit!

I highly recommend visiting Alcatraz — especially if you love to take pictures. Just make sure you wear layers, a raincoat, and bring an umbrella. I saw lots of tourists stuck with Alcatraz ponchos!

Sweater: Sparkling Personality Sweater, BB Dakota via ModCloth
Scarf: gifted
Trenchcoat: Burberry
Jeans: Banana Republic
Purse: Longchamp
Shoes: Aquatalia by Marvin K. (Water resistant! Perfect for San Francisco.)

(P.S. More photos available on my Flickr set.)

How ModCloth Celebrates

During the holidays, all of ModCloth is super busy. So we’ve always had a post-holiday party, which is actually brilliant: everyone’s more relaxed, we don’t have a gazillion other events and parties and family get-togethers to attend, and we can let loose and have a good time.

Scene at the ModCloth Post-Holiday Party

Scene at the ModCloth Post-Holiday Party

So I put together the necessary ingredients: cat-eye liner, red lipstick, and sequins . . .

Decked out for the ModCloth Post-Holiday Party

Decked out for the ModCloth Post-Holiday Party

. . . and joined my friends at the party!

Hannah et moi

Hannah et moi

Analytics & B.I., featuring Jenn, Kate, Frances, Evan, and Santina

Analytics & B.I., featuring Jenn, Kate, Frances, Evan, and Santina

There was karaoke:

Ashley & Susan rock out

Ashley & Susan rock out

and more karaoke:

Pat & Kate. Photo by Svetlana Saitsky Photography.

Pat & Kate. Photo by Svetlana Saitsky Photography.

and some fab photobooth action:

The Analytics team crowds into a photobooth.

Hamming it up with Pat.

. . . and more karaoke!

The ModCloth crew belt out Ghost Busters. Photo by Svetlana Saitsky Photography.

The ModCloth crew belt out Ghost Busters. Photo by Svetlana Saitsky Photography.

Not to mention all the marvelous dresses, of course. :)

What I wore:
Dress: Sparkle and Span Dress, Max and Cleo via ModCloth
Earrings: gifted
Belt: Calderon, thrifted
Bracelet: Victorian mourning bracelet